It was a tragedy that horrified the nation; a disaster that shouldn’t have happened. With 72 confirmed deaths and countless more lives still affected, the inquiry into Grenfell is still ongoing.
On the eve of the fire’s first anniversary, The Big Issue has spoken to one of the survivors. We wanted to tell his story in full.
Tiago Alves, 21, was watching television on the 13th floor when the fire broke out.
“We don’t want these deaths to have been in vain. We want these deaths to mean something to people in authority, to make sure things change,” he says.
My dad stayed and knocked on everyone’s doors on the 13th floor
“I moved into Grenfell Tower when I was nine months old. When my sister was born, my dad saved up all the money he could and became the leaseholder. I had a lot of friends in the building and in the area. This is the place I grew up.
“My dad swung the door open, and shouted that we needed to get dressed and get out. My sister was half asleep, going, ‘I have an exam tomorrow, why is everyone making so much noise?’ We ran downstairs but my dad stayed and knocked on everyone’s doors on the 13th floor.”